Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Modest Proposal: Catman 2.0

Nacho: If you're a fan of the Panthers, then you know all about our boy Greg Good, better known as Catman to his fans. Catman was at the Bobcats game, being his joyful, boisterous self, causing a ruckus and distracting free-throw shooting Hornets. He's great for the fans, and always gets himself on tv.

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, I'll put forth a modest proposal: Greg needs to stick to football, and let someone else be the Catman for the Bobcats. And that person, should be me.

For the night the Bobcats found their Permanent Fan of the Game, click on...

Nacho cont'd: Brethren had scored some sweet tickets for the Bobcats/Knicks game last week, and through a series of wacky, well-connected events, I ended up in the halftime show. This halftime show played to my strengths: rather than attempting a half court shot or scooting around on a tricycle, all I had to do was select one of five oversized presents and hope I didn't get the one with Rufus and his silly string in it.

I ended up getting two tickets situated directly beneath the basket. As Brethren had already headed back up to New Yawk City, Mammy joined me in a night of revelry. We were told we were given access to the Hardwood Club, an ultra-exclusive dining room with free food and free hooch. There was some confusion about whether or not this access was, in fact, granted, but they let us in anyway. At the end of our delicious, free meal, we made our way to our seats and were informed that we were, in fact, not granted said privilege, and would not be allowed back in at halftime. This suited us just fine.

Mammy & I got to our seats and I started giggling. A lot. I mean, you would to if you were this close to the game.

We ordered beers, and the game began. About halfway through the first quarter a Lady Cat turned around and asked, "Weren't you the one who won the tickets?" I gleefully responded affirmatively. I mean, even for a stud like me, it's not every day a professional cheerleader remembers you. She was even kind enough to take a picture with me as I stammered out some garbled mix of "Merry Holiday New Years Boobs." Yeah, I let her down gently.

The Lady Cats endorse me as Catman 2.0

The Hornets got out to an early lead and never looked back, so I decided to make the most of the seats. Every time there was a free-throw situation, I ceaselessly talked shit to Peja Stojakovic about his inability to grow a real man's beard (beard seen here.) Coming out of a time out, I started cheering, rather obnoxiously, and the badass camera guy seated in front of us turned his magnificent machine on me, and suddenly my howling, screaming, crazed countenance was splattered across the Jumbotron and pumping up the fans. It's quite mind-melting to be flapping one's arms and, out of the corner of your eye, see yourself flapping 30 feet tall. This set a precedent and the camera guy and I became comrades.

At one point, I caught the game ball as it errantly flew out of bounds. Wait, it gets more impressive: I snagged it with my right hand, and didn't spill a drop of the beer that was in my left. Game balls feel nice....I said game, right?

A few minutes later, Gerald Wallace shot down the floor on a fast break, and ended up getting fouled and careening our way. He stopped just short of slapping me in the face with his dong, but did make eye contact and give me a low five. I can now die happy. (Side note: despite how close you are to the floor, you really have no idea how tall pro ball players are until you're junk-high.)

The crowning moment came in middle of the fourth quarter: The Bobcats had cut the lead to single digits and the Rocky theme came on the PA system. Naturally, I started shadowboxing and the cameraman rewarded me. The entire arena feared my wikid quick jabs and I turned around and did the whole Sly Stallone arms-raised thing. It thoroughly pumped up the crowd and further cemented my legend.

The rest of the night, I stalked from bar to bar in downtown Charlotte and folks kept recognizing me. The most common refrain was "Hey! Fan of the Game, right? HEY GUYS, IT'S THE GUY! THE BEARD! DUDE YOU GOTTA TAKE THIS!"
< /proceeds to take shot>

All in all, I feel I ran a great campaign to become Catman 2.0. Alas, I live in Hollywood and rarely get to see our boys play live. When I am home, however, you can bet your sweet ass, I'm going to as many games as possible. Now, I'm off to go purchase the rest of my Bobcat outfit for the Clippers game.

Also, if you're reading this, Adam Morrison, I promise I'm not stalking you. Yes, the bearded fellow who talked to you at the Panther game was the same guy on the Jumbotron, but I have no ulterior motives, I'm just a fan.

A fan, with a free hat.

The Jump

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Week 16: Cowboys Barely Beat Fourth Stringers

Nacho: Sorry for the hiatus, but the Brethren were too busy nursing holiday hangovers to post. We've got a slew of stories from our vacation, the first up being the night Beason hurt the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes.

The day was crisp, last Saturday. We'd seen Neon Deion at the Bobcats' game the night before, and the unmistakable air of Double J was in the air.

The Sports Parents had invited me down to the Club section, a place usually reserved for the well-to-do of Charlotte. We found our seats, the weather was delectable and excitement brewed. As the Rents found their seats Cap'n Pappy let us know that The Great Mustachio himself, Adam Morrison, was sitting just a few rows up. I immediately walked up, we talked for a bit, and I let him know he'd be seeing me again in LA when the Bobcats played the Clippers.

The game happened, some asshole stole my Jessica Simpson mask, Matt Moore looked ok, the offense continued to be uninspired, and Panthers seemed to never get any pressure on Romo. Good, now that that's out of the way, lets get down to the Awesome, after...

Turns out the milquetoast bankers in front of us started jawing to one another during halftime, leading to an altercation. Security was beckoned, tempers flared, but nothing came of it. This all happened while I was getting more hooch at the bar. Long about ten minutes later, Bland Man #1 turned to Bland Man #2 and started in again with several variations on the phrase "You're an asshole." Apparently creativity isn't necessary to file data for Wachovia.

Voices were raised, security was again beckoned but this time, he brought the Fuzz with him. Mammy was on pins and needles, just waiting for me to throw myself into the scuffle and get booted from the stadium. I decided, in my drunken stupor, to let the Large Vaginas in front of us take the heat this night, and we got front row seats to some well-executed beding-over and handcuffing. It was beyond badass. The rest of the game we had lounge-a-licious seats where we could prop our feet up with no one hasslin' us. In that respect, the game was an unabashed victory. I got to come home, see a Panther game, and see idiots get arrested. A+ in my book.

On last note, Jimmy Cross aka Friend Who Fears Nash, noted that Wade Phillips looks an awful lot like Marla Hooch's dad from "A League of Their Own."

Now I'll pass it along to Brethren to give you the perspective from the nosebleeds.

Brethren: Yes, the report from the nosebleed was not quite as awesome in that I didn't see any handcuffs brung out. But that didn't stop me from talking shit to any and all Cowgirl fans.

As most friends know, I suffer from somewhat of a Napoleonic Complex when I get the drunk. I mean, shit, I'm bigger than Napoleon, and he nearly conquered all of Europe. Surely, I can take down men much larger than me! I have wit!

So whether it's over a friendly beer pong game, some asshole at a bar, or certainly a redneck Cowgirls fan, I start talking lots of shit (only if I have large friends with me though). I choose us being down 10-0 to start it, and it doesn't end until we lose 17-10. And in the end, my Cowgirl brethren and I ended up wishing each other a merry Christmas and going on our way. It was cute.

So the Panthers move to 6-9, I get to feed my inner Napoleonic desires, and I was able to take some friends to the game who wouldn't have been able to go. It was a grand old time all around.

Onwards to Tampa!
The Jump

Friday, December 21, 2007

Steve Nash, A True Wild West Outlaw

Brethren: Back in November, we wrote a post about how we think Soccer Is Ruining Basketball and pointed to the dirty play that Steve Nash tried to pull on our Bobcat, Ray Ray.

Later that weekend, a buddy of mine sidled up to the bar next to me and told me quite possibly the greatest dirty play story he had ever heard second-hand. So while we sorta havefta stress it's rumor; after reading it, you tell me: How can it not be true??

Buddy who fears Steve Nash: The Ghost And The Darknes, a late 90s creature-feature about killer lions in Africa, ran the marketing tagline, “Only the most amazing parts of the story are true.” Although this ivory-tower assertion was incorrect with regards to the film—years later I was disappointed to learn that Michael Douglas is not, in fact, a rogue Sub-Saharan game hunter—I hope it applies to the hearsay detailed below. I’m sure it doesn’t, but I wish it would.

The narrative itself is simple. Out on the town, an attractive young woman spots a certain star Phoenix Suns point guard/mulleteer trying to make the most of his waning road trip. With the sort of go-getter determination we often associate with veteran car buyers and Yankees upper management, she decides that her night will not end until she negotiates a liaison with the hot-handed heartthrob.

“Hot-handed” takes on new meaning, however, as the young woman succeeds in her quest and lures the ball handler to her boudoir. After fine, rather unliterary hooking up, she falls into a deep slumber, only to be awakened by a dull but sure rectal pressure. Surprised and undeniably curious, she rolls over to find the point guard gazing at her with ambivalent professionalism.

In an adult reprise of connect-the-dots, she links the location of his hot hand to the source of the pressure. Oh my god. Really? Yes, really. And then she shrieks. Seeing that the game is officially up, he shrugs and says, “I’m Steve Nash.”

Buddy: NOW. Because this account has undergone a considerable trek through the grapevine, we should examine it less as historical record than as instructive moral fable, particularly regarding reader response to superficially shocking incidents. You likely read this story and are repulsed by the arrogance of the male protagonist, skilled passer but deficient gentleman, a baller so stuck on himself that he believes that he can justify deviant intrusions simply by stating his name.

To that I say, “Assume not!” Although we cannot rule out the perverse interpretation, can we at least admit the possibility of alternative readings? Maybe the pick-and-roller’s wayward fingers were simply the consequence of muscle memory stemming from a dream of cowboys and Indians. The pistol’s holster just happened to be a girl’s ass. And “I’m Steve Nash” was simply a slick way of signing off—the sheriff, in a sense, telling the town that the bandits have been dealt with. Or maybe our hero has a sense-of-humor only Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven can appreciate. Maybe we don’t find this funny for the same reason we don’t find Starship Troopers funny (i.e. we’re not smart enough).

But in the spirit of the holiday season, when we are all inclined to minor, piddling acts of forgiveness, I prefer a gentler fable: what if he just didn’t know what else to say? What if he was just shy? I mean, good lord. We are who we are. A deer in the headlights can aspire to nothing more than being a deer. An aging pitcher can do nothing more than take HGH in the butt. Falcons QBs cannot resist the urge to pit other species in battle, and, in times of crisis, elite point guards cannot resist the urge to state their names as acts of atonement. Who can shun the healing power of brutal honesty?

This Christmas, why don’t you try it on for size? Sticking your fingers in someone else’s pie may be gross, but no one cares as long as you admit that you are you.

I’m Steve Nash. You’re Steve Nash. Santa Claus is Steve Nash.

We’re all Steve Nash.

The Jump

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week 15: The Classic John Fox Game

Brethren: John Fox loves this situation. Underdog at home to a team that had won 5 in a row? Bring it. Taking on a team that brought a fierce pass rush against our very inconsistent offensive line? We got it. An embarrassingly bad QB situation? Not a problem.

John Fox loves being the underdog and having no one believe in him. His playoff teams all came out of nowhere. Even his 7-9 and 8-8 teams had December winning streaks. As mad as I sometimes get at him, he's a far better coach than people give him credit for, and we're in a better shape than most below-.500 teams.

Note: I'm far too lazy to actually verify those facts, just going on memory, but believe me, John Fox seems to get his teams to play better when people on the outside think we're going nowhere:

More Kool-Aid drankin' after:

Brethren (cont'd): My patented bulleted thoughts:

- Matt Moore, The Gunslinger, leading the Carolina Panther to victory: oddly enough, he reminds me of a less-animated Jake. If you remember the old gameplan with Jake, it was run the ball, control the clock, hang around, win it in the 4th quarter with defense and some big plays. That formula was on full display today. Welcome back, John Fox football.

- My buddy Steve mentioned how The Gunslinger plays like Jake, but Vinny looks like Jake in a uniform, so if we could combine the two, we'd have Jake. It has come to this.

- We also nicknamed The Gunslinger, "Doc Holliday." It was fun.

- Good to see the recent draft picks playing well. Thomas Davis with the forced fumble. DeAngelo Williams with the oddly-needed touchdown run. Maybe there is some hope for this Hurney/Fox thing.

God, I'm helpless. I love this team.

Nacho: On Saturday I left Burbank and headed back to my place in Hollywood to do some light laundry (read = if I try to wear these socks once more before washing them, I swear I'll end up like Dede) when my Oil and Check Engine lights came on. Long story short, my car had crapped out on the 101 freeway and there was oil splattered everywhere. Needless to say, I took this as a bad omen for the Panthers/Seahawks.

As the first half ended in a scoreless tie, I felt an old familiar tingle. Like a tuning fork going off in my loins, I realized we could actually win this game. The more I thought about it, the more likely it seemed: This was our 4th starting QB this season, and going into yesterday's game Jake, Asshat, and Vinny had all won their first starts. On top of that, the Panthers were 3-0 against the NFC West. So, my drunk logic led me to loudly proclaim that the third-best team in the NFC South could beat any team in the NFC West, any time, any place. Luckily the fiercest looking Seahawk fan would rather sip lattes and wear flannel than tussle with a boy from the Carolinas. Preach!

We're, apparently, not out of the playoff picture entirely, but I'd almost rather get another great draft pick than get embarassed by Green Bay again. For now, my main goal is to spend the rest of the week brainstorming new and inappropriate ways to insult Cowboys fans. That's right, Nacho's headin' home!

One last note: let's all give it up for Big Bad Brezec.

The Jump

Friday, December 14, 2007

Goodbye My Loooooooove!

Brethren: Update that just broke on NBA All Access: Charlotte: The Bobcats have traded Walter Herrmann and Primoz Brecez to Detroit for center Nazr Mohammad.

The SportsBrethren are noted lovers of the Argentine, but neither of us really cared for The Big Duck, Primoz. And honestly, I think I like Nazr Mohammad as a big defender to take some pressure of Mek in the post.

But part of me is a little stunned we're losing Herrmann.

More gut reactions after:

Brethren (cont'd): Bill Walton got pretty excited about our starting five now with The Nazr at the 5, Mek at the 4, GForce and JRich on the wings, and Ray Ray running the show. I see how on paper that team looks better than with Primoz tipping off.

Off the bench, we've now got Jeff "Playground Brethren" McInnis, Jared Dudley, Matt Carroll, DAnderson, Ryan Hollins, Othella Harrington, and Jamareo Davidson.

So we lose Fabio, gain some good size, and that's where we stand. Sigh.

Herrmann, you were loved by these two. As a Detroit Piston, you will still be loved. In the words of the greatest comedy ever, "Goodbye, my looooove! "

And scene.

PS: Oh, and my Lord, Morrison looks fantastically white trash. I love him.

Nacho: And now, in honor of the best player on the Magic., here's some shitty poetry...

Whatever we were calling you,
Rest assured,
That name will be shouted out from the rooftops of Charlotte tonight.
As evening falls and you take the floor
resplendent in your orange and blue,
I'll host a party in your honor, and raise a glass to all we've been through.

Walter, sweet Walter
You had to spread your wings.
You've left us with a Nazi prophet
Which is just fine by me.
Bill Walton thinks the trade is fair,
And he might be right at that,
But I'd give up all the Primoz in the world,
Just to have you back.

I'd like to point out that Walter Herrmann had the best sports quote I've read in a while. From this video:

Lady, if you can't take a death threat, you shouldn't be in the NBA.

Godspeed, you magnificent bastard. Godspeed indeed.

The Jump

Things To Do In Charlotte When You're Dead: A Guide For ESPN's All Access

Nacho: I like to think of myself as a pretty decent ambassador for Charlotte, North Carolina. I represent my city and region well, bringing my gentlemanly etiquette to new denizens every day. Also, I kill hookers and pretend I have diplomatic immunity.

That's why today's a special day. ESPN has slipped the Queen City a roofie, and they've been granted All Access to all holes that is The Banking Capital Of The SouthEast.

I'm not exactly sure what all this All Access grants, and if you search for "All Access" on the WWL's website, the top response is the 2008 Florida Bass Calendar, so maybe this whole day will be less about Bobcats and Magic, and more about bass. Sounds about right.

Anyway, since we're such good guys, the SportsBrethren feel like we should give a few helpful hints to the ESPN crew on what attractions and distractions there are in our fine hometown. Follow us, after...

Nacho cont'd: First things first, you're gonna wanna get some food. The cuisine in Charlotte's top notch, thanks in no small part to the mecca that is Harris Teeter.

Luckily for Stephen A Smith, Harris Teeter carries Wise products. Why is this important? Because it's the holidays, and WHITE CHEDDAR CHEEZ DOODLES ARE BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!!

There are five convenient Boston Market locations in and around Charlotte, if you need to hug it out. The cell service in Charlotte is immaculate despite it's hilly terrain. This could come in handy, were Sean Salsbury to suddenly get the urge to show how similar his gentalia look, in regards to the Bank of America building, via picture mail:

[insert dick joke here]

Today's All Access should also give Bill Simmons a chance to catch those elusive Bobcats fans he so desperately wishes didn't exist. I say "desperately wishes" because Bill has one joke/insight about the Bobcats: They have no fans. Well, Bill, I hope you're not too busy being elbow deep in infant dookie, because the WWL will be proving you wrong all day. And if they don't, you can bet your ass you'll meet one on January 28th. I'll be the one in the Adam Morrison jersey with the sweet stache. That's a gaurantee, Shooter McGavin style (see I can make extremely dated references, too.):

Brethren: I can't resist but jump in here as well, even if it's to chide Nacho.

First, how can you talk about food in Charlotte and not mention BOJANGLES'!? We have the defenders of the Biscuit living right in Charlotte and while that might be more football related, I don't see how the WWL could resist goodness that Jake and Smitty so heartily endorse.

Second, don't go to the mall. If you must, watch out for the old ladies trying to back up.

Thirdly, Charlotte Bobcats Arena -- fuck yea, we don't have a corporate sponsor. Yet. -- has these badass murals of the history of North Carolina basketball on the walls. I can easily see Bill Walton eating some shrooms, seeing the magnificent basketball creatures elevating out of the walls and telling their beautiful and real stories to all those with the power to listen and the love in their hearts to sympathize.

And of course, CBA has a side gym that's visible to fans where Bobcat employee Dell Curry can challenge Tim Legler to a 3 Point Shooting Contest. You're going down, Legler!

(Note to the daily readers (ha!): some of you might have been wondering what happened to me round these parts, as I have been auspiciously MIA over the last week. I'm a-ok, just working hard and playing host to Mammy 'n the Cap'n Pappy as they visited my Island. Pappy was at a medical conference, exploring new surgeries that involve no incisions (they just use their minds!) on pigs. In his words, they "made a lot of bacon" that day. Gotta love docs. Oh, and I had the office holiday party. And in case you were wondering, yes, it was at an "upscale karoake bar" and yes, I sang "I'll Make Love to You" (Boyz II Men) with Phil Jackson (no, not the Zen one, ).
The Jump

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blattings: CBS Shits the Bed

Since the Brethren are bogged down with work this holiday season, we welcome Mitchell Blatt of Juiced Sports to the ever-growing list of contributors.

The San Diego Chargers were down 10-17 to the Tennessee Titans Sunday afternoon as they were driving with less than a minute left. They got inside the ten with 18 seconds left, and my eyes were glued to the TV.

Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear: Titans-Chargers was not actually the featured game for CBS' Midwestern region including Cleveland, where I was watching, and wherever else they divided up the Midwest into for this week. Packers-Raiders was the featured game. The Packers won 38-7. But, I don't blame the CBS for broadcasting that yawn-inducing bloodbath; the Packers were pretty bad last year, so it could have easily been a yawn-inducing joke.

the rest, after...

Luckily, FOX had a good matchup between the Lions and Cowboys that came down to the Boys' final possession. But CBS was showing bonus coverage of the Titans-Chargers game, and bonus coverage is sometimes the only good thing about NFL Sundays.

So, it was Chargers ball inside the 10, down by 7, with 18 seconds left and third down. Then a voice came on as play continued. The voice began speaking slowly, but I could tell what was going to happen, I just hoped the voice would last long enough.

"Due to NFL contractual obligations..." Philip Rivers calls the signals.

"We will not be able to bring you..." He takes the snap.

"The remainder of the game." He tosses a pass toward the end zone.

Will it be caught? Will the Chargers take it to overtime? Will they win?

I didn't see because they switched to the Browns-Jets game. Far be it for CBS to restrict the Browns fans' rights to see the coin toss or the opening kickoff. The first 18 seconds of a local game are definitely more important than the last 18 seconds of a one-possession game. Forget about overtime, it would have been enough just to see the Chargers tie it. (They ended up winning in overtime.)

It makes sense from the NFL's perspective, though. They don't let a large number of their fans watch big games on Thursdays. They scheduled Patriots-Colts for one o'clock earlier this year. The Patriots-Steelers game Sunday was at four o'clock, also not broadcast to many people.

The concept of regional games doesn't make sense. No one from Cleveland is going to watch Detroit or Indianapolis just because they are regional. People watch games played by teams other than their favorite because they are exciting, not because "this team is close to my hometown so they are my second favorite". Seems like they could make more money by showing the best games and getting the best ratings.

And with the NFL so obsessed with profit, even they should feel rage about that.
The Jump

Week 14: A New Hope

Nacho: The Panthers played a football game and lost. Cut and paste, as necessary.

For the next three weeks, as we round out the season, I'm just gonna find a person or two on Facebook and talk massive amounts of shit to them about their team, then have the Panthers lose to them. That's what I did this week, with a Jags fan from Dubai, no less.

This week, it's Seahawks fans. Sure, the Panthers might have not done so well against them in recent times, but that in no way will detract me from pointing out Seattle is a cold, dreary place that can't keep it's rock stars alive. Suck it, coffee-drinkers.

This little experiment will really come to a head in two weeks, when there's a better than good chance I'm mauled to death by a rabid pack of Cowboy fans.

Anywho, the SportsBrethren are puttin' our noggins together to come up with some helpful hints the Cats might want to take to heart in the coming offseason, draft, and throughout the 2008-9 regular reason, after...

Nacho: Brethren's the brains of this operation, so he'll have much better insight into what the Panthers reallyneed, while I'm more whimsical, so lets see what we can come up with.

Defensive Line: This is a homer pick for me. Peppers, with his big contract extension, is rapidly becoming the Antoine Walker of football players. We've consistently allowed sub-par offensive lines to batter us like fried dumplings. In all, we've had one decent game from the D-line, nothing something you'd expect from a team coached by a former d-coordinator. Plus, a certain Cavalier keeps rising on Mel's Big Board.

Defensive Backfield: The loss of Mike Minter hurt us more than we cared to admit this year. I guess you really can't tell how important intangibles are until they're gone. We need more solid plays out of our safeties and smarter coverage from our cornerbacks. Hell, at this point I'd take a Scottish Southern Asian granny:

Offensive Play-calling: It speaks droves about the Panthers fandom that we were able to talk ourselves into a fervor about David Carr and the friggin' Browns! offensive coordinator. Remember all those prolific Browns offenses in the past years? Ugh. We need to get the Patriots play-callers. Those guys are inventive, and fun.

Brethren's thoughts will come to him eventually, after he's done rocking out his office Xmas party.

The Jump

Friday, December 7, 2007

Brethren On Ice: Nacho Takes In His First NHL Game

Nacho: Back in high school, I attended my fair share of Charlotte Checkers games. (If you're wondering, the official web address is ... that's adorable) I always admired how they wore their gameplan on their sleeve. You come into Charlotte, you're gonna get hit. I got on the jumbrotron once because I was shirtless.

Alas, until this past Thursday, I'd never attended a professional NHL game, despite how well the Hurricanes play (sigh, it's relevant...) I'd never seen them play. Probably because I was busy making awesome movies and being a badass in college. Pshhhh, hockey.

Through a series of events, I went to watch the Kings/Sabres game at the Staples Center. My report, after...

Nacho cont'd: Primo seats and pretzels found, we cheered for a Sabres victory...for about four minutes. By the end of the first period it was 4-0 Los Angeles, and the Buffalo fans around us were distressed. For reasons unknown, the Sabres didn't start Patriot Ryan Miller but instead put some guy name Thibault in goal. Poor kid never had a chance.

Zambonis rock.

The Kings scored three more goals in the second period, but Buffalo saved themselves from a shutout. The important part: they played Guitar Hero III!!! In case you didn't know, I host a Guitar Hero tourney/rock-aoke night in the heart of Hollywood. If you're ever in town on a tuesday, swing by.

Our screen is just as big. Srly.

By the end of the night, the Buffalo fans were drunk, the LA fans were kind of dick, but overall, not terrible, and, if I may, tghe mascot for the Kings takes entirely too much brain power to understand. You're asking a large populous to match the word King with the phrase "king of the jungle." It's just tough. Go with something easier:

get some.


I've decided that this weekend is an important game for the Panthers. I've recently reconnected with an extremely old chum whose currently living in Dubai, which is insanely cool. He's, unfortunately, a Jags fan and while I've gotten to see Vinny's miraculous resurrection and I'm attending the Dallas game, I'm deciding that a win this weekend in Jacksonville would make the season a wash.

If I'm being realistic though, Eli's Comin'.

(Eli's a portent of something evil.)
The Jump

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Cerberus of Beauty

Nacho: Ladies and gentlemen, we are the precipice of something bigger than ourselves. Gone are the concerns over production like points, rebounds, assists and whatnot. This year, the Charlotte Bobcats have their sights set on one goal and one goal only: To put together the ugliest team, with the most beautiful hair in NBA history!

Learn the identity of the three-headed beast, after...

It all started when we used the third pick in a (not so) loaded draft to get this adorable punim:

Sitting on a Noxema gold mine!

Morrison's known league-round as the only player to look better as a videogame character.

Then, last year, we signed this bastion of beauty to a nice deal:

Please to be touching the balls for Walter?

And now, for the final piece of the puzzle. The Cavs have a week to match the offer, but they don't really need him, and the Bobcats sure could use him. Let's see whose behind door number three....

Hide your heart girls
The Dirty Varj is comin'

There you have it folks. Christmas comes early to the Herbal Essence folks, and they're no stranger to filming three dudes showering. (NSFW, but hilarious.)

Brethren: Ya know, it's kinda like that old YMCA "bark like a dog" play, where on an in-bounds pass, all four players get on hands and knees and start barking like dogs. Then, as the opposite team stands around befuddled, the closest "dogg" to the hoop stands up, receives the pass, and misses a lay-up.

In our professional case, the Bobcats are putting odd-looking dudes on the court, and surrounding them without talent that is unassumedly good (Gerald Wallace, JRich, Ray Ray, Mek) in hopes that other teams will be distracted by the Mustache, Fabio, and SideShow Bob.

Now, only if we can sign Rik Smits, convince him to grow a mullet, and bring in Kurt Rambis to coach -- wearing goggles -- we'd be truly dominant.
The Jump

Well, That Didn't Quite Go As Expected

Nacho: Well, despite the Blattings, that was just about as good a football game as one can hope for on a Monday night. From here on out, I'm rooting for an undefeated season. My highlights from the evening:

- Kornheiser prefacing his use of something along the lines of "tragic inevitability" by saying something along the lines of "Those whose study English know a term..."

- My favorite part of every week in football has become Bill Belichick's press conferences. He embodies smug and appears incapable of shaking a head cold that causes him to phlegmily cough into the mic during every question. I just love how robotic he is, because while the words he's saying are everything any commissioner would want to hear a coach say, his message is clear, "I couldn't give a fuck about any of you. I'm here to win."

- Genuine excitement in Jaws's voice when Clayton pulled in the final pass.

- Looks to me like Brian Billick needs to teach his team the ol' hook and ladder.

A highlight reel of the game, after...

The Jump

Monday, December 3, 2007

Blattings: Another Terrible MNF Matchup

Since the Brethren are bogged down with work this holiday season, we welcome Mitchell Blatt of Juiced Sports to the ever-growing list of contributors.

Last week, we had to suffer through the Dolphins vs the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Even Ricky Williams' return didn't ease the pain, as Ricky got injured after six carries.

As if the pathetic matchup weren't enough, ESPN's ads all week sealed the deal. You know, the ones about how you were watching the Dolphins-Pats game three years ago in your college dorm, and that one obnoxious Pats fan made that bet where if the Pats lost he would have to have the Dolphins logo tattooed onto his arm, and as the Fins began their comeback, you gave him the option of opting out, but he still had faith in the Pats, then when the Fins finally did when, he actually went throughout with it!

So funny I have to cry.

More, desde...

ESPN could have at least pretended the Dolphins were good like they usually do. I mean, sure, Trent Green — injured since week five — had more passing yards than the Fins starter Cleo Lemon going into game, and their running back was their second leading receiver, but still, they could have at least promoted it as Ricky's return.

Well, this next one with the Patriots playing the Ravens is just as bad. At least the Ravens looked like a good team going in, as opposed to the Fins who were coming off a 4-12 season. Doesn't change the fact that the Ravens are 4-7 and the Pats steamroll everyone.

Yes, the Eagles almost beat the Pats last week in a part fluke, part great performance, but that was more a referendum on Donovan McNabb's rising age and declining skill than on the Patriots ability to lose. Without McNabb injured (again), AJ Feeley did a good job filling in for him (again).

ESPN has taken the easy (and annoying) road again with their ads, this time talking about how that one time you were watching a game that featured the Packers and someone else (maybe the Ravens?) and your wife was giving birth, and you just let her give birth in front of the game instead of taking her to the hospital. Instead of, you know, talking about how good Ray Lewis is.

Even after tomorrow's Ravens-Patriots matchup, the Monday Night forecast doesn't look much better. New Orleans-Atlanta is after this one, then it gets a little bit better with Chicago-Minnesota and Denver-San Diego to finish the season.

This three-game stretch is just that, a three-game stretch. It is an example of how unexciting Monday Night Football has been this season. The average win margin of MNF games this season has been 12.1. The average win margin of all NFL games this season has been 5.7. And with the Patriots playing tomorrow, it is worth noting that their average win margin is 23.4. Tony Kornheiser only makes it worse.

So tomorrow will be one more night I go to bed early, one more night I forget about that time that I was watching Monday Night Football, and my wife had to give birth, and I didn't take her to the hospital.

And that, my friends, is good reason to feel rage.

The Jump

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Week 13: We won. Hooray.

Brethren: Well, looky there. We played a football game at our home stadium and won. Maybe not a reason to celebrate for most normal, good teams, but the Carolina Panthers are neither normal or good. So without checking any facts or any game film, only my imbibed memory, let's take a looksie: How did this happen?

I can think of a few reasons:

- David Carr was inactive. Do not let this fact go unnoticed.

- Trent Dilfer is not very good.

- Our defense took advantage of those two facts.

More golden gems/patented bulleted thoughts and Nacho's words, following:

Brethren (cont'd): So I really do think most of this season can be blamed on David Carr. I don't personally know the man, but I do watch our team perform when he's at the helm, and when he's not, and I have recognized a few things:

- This defense is good, but they wear down. How do you stop them from wearing down? You have them play less. How does that happen? By keeping the offense on the field. David Carr was inept at doing that.

- Vinny T might make mistakes, but at least he looks like a man -- not a girl -- when he does.

- Vinny T knows how to get Steve Smith the ball; David Carr does not. Our team performs better when Steve Smith gets the ball more often.

These are simple things. But they are important. David Carr, please go away. We can live -- and win apparently -- without you.

Other thoughts:

- I love Jake Delhomme. I love him. He was so fired up after that first TD when (don't know his first name) Rossario caught a Vinny T bullet. I loved it. I miss the guy.

- I love Steve Smith. I love him. He talked so much shit to Nate Clement today and it rocked. That scene at the end of the first half where he got in Clement's face and wouldn't back down made me happy he's on my team.

- I watch all the Panthers games with my buddy Steve, a fellow Charlottean and Panthers fan. It was quite telling that all day, whenever a play went the Panthers' way (which was actually quite often), neither he nor I would cheer. We'd merely nod at each other, as to say, "I'll take that." That's the kind of deflating attitude David Carr has put on us. We used to be cheery and rambunctious. Now, a slight head nod will suffice a Richard Marshall interception return for a TD.

Nacho: By now, our weekly simile of what negative thing David Carr is to our team should have a name, so I'm gonna name it:

The David Carr Negative Simile of the Week

This week's simile: Herpes.

Not since the not-so-rare Derekus Jeterius strain has one athlete infected so many talented people. David Carr ruined Dom Capers's head coaching career, a meat-sweaty intense fan base, and, for half a season and six million dollars, the Carolina Panthers. Luckily, there's VINtrex, it's just like Valtrex, and helps keep David Carr in remission. So there you have it, David Carr is the herpes of the Carolina Panthers.

I'd like to take a moment to highlight a career day for one special Panther. Although I'm dubious as to her abilities to headline a wide-realease film, I'd like to extend a hearty congrats to Rosario Dawson on her stellar performance yesterday.

One fumble recovery and a touchdown
for 5 yards. Not bad.

It's fun to hear the Panthers back in playoff talk, for about a week. We've got the other expansion team up next week. Y'know those guys who didn't even punt against the defending Super Bowl champs. Ugh.

The Jump

Monday, November 26, 2007

Week 12: David Carr Is Our Omega Wolf

Nacho: David Carr is our Omega Wolf. he's the weakest of the pack and serves no other purpose than to drive me to drink. Maybe I'm being too harsh on him, maybe I should cut him some slack, but when I read shit like this, my anger burns anew.

David Carr should act more like Jesus:

Serioulsy, why can't David Carr die for my sins? I've certainly sinned enough in my lifetime to warrant a "balancing of the scales," so to speak. What must I do for some omnipotent being to strike him down, ceasing his life and with it, my turmoil? Is it too much to ask for? Possibly. But I stand by my claim that a world without David Carr starting for the Panthers, hell, a world without David Carr, would be a much, much better place. Sometimes, the king needs a good ol' fashion defenestration.

this is the 2nd picture we've use from Carr's
senior yearbook. Man, at one point, he had it all.

Why can't John Fox just admit he's got a problem? Why can't we call this season a loss, rehab Steve Smith and develop Jarrett and Matt Moore? At this point, I'm not sure you'd find a single carbon-based lifeform that would agree David Carr's anything more than a crutch for my burgeoning alcoholism. If you want to save my liver, John Fox, do the honorable thing, and strangle that bastard with his own earbud.

Brethren's patented thoughts, desde..

Brethren: Ah was travelin back from our lil place in Morganton, NC, to my new abode in New Yahrk City, so I wasn't privy to the visual defecation David Carr and the Panthers put on the good folk of Charlotte, but I could got the audio feed, for at least the first half, via Mick Mixon, Eugene Robinson, and Jim Szoke.

Side note: For some reason, Wikipedia does not recognize Jim Szoke as part of the radio broadcast team. Odd, because he's been on the radio crew for as long as I can remember. Doubly odd, because he's far and away the best at his job of the three.

- Listening to a game on the radio brings me back. Back to the days where we had home games I couldn't go to, but weren't sold out, and so weren't being shown on TV. Oh the good old days; I fear they're not far away.

- Like I said, as I drove north with Sisterin through Virginia we lost our signal, so I missed Foster's fumbles, our pathetic defense, and the (underwhelming) Matt Moore sighting.

- That means, I have not much to go off of except our defense played pretty well. Oh, and David Carr started 1 for 109 for 7 yards, missed Steve Smith on several passes, and pretty much played QB as poorly as anyone to put on a Panther uniform. So excuse us, Mike Rucker, if you're hurt by the Carr-bashing, but that's all I have as my reference, and nearly everyone out there in the mainstream and blogging media agrees with us.

- Fuck David Carr.

- Can we somehow draft Chris Long? He's dirty, he's nasty, he's the only reason UVA kept it close with Virginia Tech. Great season, by the way, Hoos. Expected to do nothing, we go 9-3, likely headed to the Peach Bowl. Now, since we have momentum and probably will have expectations, look for us to go 6-6 again. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

- Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving; I did. Lots of booze and Momma cooked meals.

Nacho: For the record, I pwned a Giants fan for saying Eli was worse than Carr.
The Jump

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jesus Shuttlesworth Smites Bobcats

Nacho: After suffering through the righteous indignation of Magic fans on Friday, we Bobcat faitthful were given the opportunity to watch our team lose a heartbreaker to the best team in the league. Ray Allen came to town and showed us what kind of game he's got. In case you missed it, the video's below:

One thought, after....

Nacho cont'd: Here's my thing: I love it when the media makes a kneejerk reaction based on the past, and not the present. Kinda like how Kitnabot 3000 was making eyes roll with his prediction of 10+ wins. Well, sure, history dictates the Lions will always be insignificant as long as Barry Sanders stubbornly stays retired, but if you saw Calvin Johnson play once last year, you could tell he would be a game changer.

Oh and let us not forget how quick sports news outlets were to reach for straightjackets this offseason. Granted, the KG trade hadn't gone down, but Ray was on board, and, if you're cynical, you can imagine a situation where Ainge knew what was gonna go with KG in light of the Donaghy scandal.

Don't forget, David Stern took over the crown as The Great Distractor once Johnnie Cochrane shuffled off this mortal coil. The dress code, age limit, and new ball all took coverage away from football and baseball in masterful strokes. Last year, before christmas *the* story of the year was where AI was gonna go. Melo goes apeshit and the next thing we know, AI's Nuggin'.

Just saying, we should've all seen this coming.

Now lets all witness the first home victory in over a year!

(I'm secretly hoping for a Matt Moore Coming Out Party)

The Jump

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 11: Draft Hanson!

Nacho: Since the Panthers decided not to play yesterday, today we'll turn our attention to the best football being played in North Carolina, at any level, cuz it sure as shit isn't in the NFL. Heck, the Duke Super Bowl was more entertaining than watching John Fox and the coaching staff screw the Panther faithful for another week.

It's not a secret that our Quarterback position has been in, shall we say, flux this past year. Wrought with turmoil and uncertainty, even Vinny Testaverde, yes the Vinny Testaverde, can't bring us a win. It's at times like this, when your backs against the wall, that you turn to the best you've got, the pinnacle of talent. You turn to one place, and one place only:


Do you enjoy winning and scoring lots of points? Cuz the Hawks fucking do. They amassed an undefeated record this season and absolutely embarassed Charlotte Christian for the 1A Independent Title on Friday. They've run roughshod over the entire state and these kids are hungry for more. I'd be willing to bet that the Charlotte Latin Hawks football team could beat 3 out of the 4 teams in the NFC South. (We'd pooch punt to the Panthers, then let them run it back on us for a win. Seems like something they'd be into.)

And whose leading this band of ruffians to the promiseland? None other than future X-Man, Braden Hanson. Hanson stands nine feet, two inches. He took Peyton Manning's laser-rocket arm, broke it in two, then shoved his own G11 arm up his ass and pulled the trigger til it Rachel Bilson fears Braden, but, yet, she is not afraid...

When passing, remember to
hit 'em in the numbers.

So, as we turn towards another NFC South match-up at home that we will invariably lose, take heed that in about five years the greatest QB to ever don a Panther uniform will be under center. He may even be passing to his old pal Brenton Bersin. (+5 points for alliteration!)

For the love of all that is holy, even our cross country team is better than the Panthers right now. I suspect it's because of the badass coaches.

One last note: man, I wish he'd been named Brandon. Brandon Hanson just sounds awesome. Is there a shortage of N's I don't know about? I'm very confused. Or drunk.

Brethren: My only patented bulleted thought:

- That pooch punt was disgustingly unoriginal. This regime has gotten so predictable that even when it tries to pull a "trick play" -- which is what the pooch punt is -- their opponent is ready for them and they return it for a touchdown. I turned to my buddy Steve at the bar and stated, "there's no way we're kicking this field goal; here comes the pooch punt." And there it went, and there the Pack went, touchdown, up 7-0, a lead they wouldn't let go of.

The thing that pisses me off so much is that even when this team tries to do something out of the ordinary, they do it so predictably and it backfires. In the past two weeks, two (unneccessary) gambles (the 4th and 1 in the Atlanta game, the pooch punt this week) have led to momentum-changing plays and all we seem to get out of the coaching staff is, "Well now you can't call us conservative, see!"

But they don't get it. Because the only reason I could have predicted the Panthers pooch-punting in that situation is because I watch all of their games. It doesn't take a genius to notice that everytime we have a 50+ yard field goal in the first half, we do the pooch punt. If I can notice that, and I don't get paid to do this shit, then certainly the scouts who do get paid will notice. And Green Bay's did; so they put a guy back there to return it...and he did...for a touchdown.

The thing is it's just sad. Despite Dan Henning's rep for being conservative, this team used to try big plays, momentum-changing plays. I can remember flea-flickers and long bombs to Steve Smith and Moose from the 2003 and 2005 teams. Maybe it was because Jake can throw a ball longer than 10 yards and no other QB on this team can. I don't know what it is exactly, but I can tell you this: the Panthers of '07, once Jake went down, have forgotten about trying the big play and it's sad.

But more importantly, maybe Panthers fans should forget those 2003 and 2005 squads. The coaching staff clearly has.
The Jump

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Nacho: Despite what looks to be weather that would not necesarily agree with Sisterin, she ain't the only Panther Fan in the Big House.

Sometimes, Google Image Search acts like Santa. Proof, after...

Blogger's having some trouble uploading images, so just click HERE for the hilarity.

The Jump

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sisterin Goes West: This Saturday Can't End Well...

Brethren and Nacho are the younger brothers of a dear soul, Sisterin. She is headed West this weekend to attend her first Big Ten football game. She grew up not really paying attention to football, but her cheerleading and college days made her a true fan. She's at heart a UVA fan: she has to look good going to the games and she only drinks a fine Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir at tailgates. Come noon at the Michigan-Ohio State game, she's in for a bit of a surprise, we thinks. She's going to Ann Arbor with a Michigan grad, a young feller named Mike. Their words make up this column

…and how could it? Take the classic campus game day shirts as an indicative example. You know the ones, where you flip the first letters around and it reads "PUCK Fenn State" instead of "FUCK Penn State." Surely ideated by a frat boy somewhere, who after his 17th Beast Ice, thought to himself, "what a great idea – I can express my fervent hatred for my opponents without blatantly offending small children and families. I am such a clever and responsible member of society." Regardless of origin, when you apply the theory to Ohio State, you end up with "BUCK the FUCKeyes" which essentially negates any semblance of decency it was meant to create. The point is, you cannot clean this one up – Michigan vs. Ohio State is dirty, it is nasty, and it is not so much about football as it is about pure, unadulterated animosity.

Since it's difficult to appreciate the rivalry if you haven't lived it, allow me to set the stage for Saturday:

The stage is set, after

Mike (to Sisterin, us all) -- (cont'd): First, I am not going to argue that Michigan vs. Ohio State is one of the year's premier college football match-ups. Those glory days are on hold, and I am all too aware of the perception of the Big Ten outside of the Rust Belt. I hear things like "mediocrity" and "I still contend it's a shitty conference." The latter sentiment may or may not have been conveyed by Brethren in a rather sassy late night voicemail to his darling sister (whom we tie into this story shortly) (Brethren: Damn right I did. Fuck yea.) For now, just know that I'm no sports pundit, and I am not going to fight the "my conference has bigger cajones than your conference" fight. I will, however, spin you the tale of two inevitable cultural train wrecks:

Train Wreck Numero Uno – Michigan Fans and Ohio State Fans: A buddy once told me, "Ohio State fans are worse than an STD. I mean, not that I've had one, but, uh, you know what I mean." Indeed we do, good sir, for we have all seen the horrifying videos from health class (assuming you went to public grade school) (Brethren: We didn't -- all three of us). Any true Wolverine agrees with this sentiment, and the sad fact is that the Buckeyes can't help it – they're from THE WORST STATE IN THE ENTIRE UNION.

Now, I've never been to the badlands in North Dakota, but I have been to Death Valley, and it's a far sight better than anything in Ohio. I scheme ways to avoid driving through it, having gone to the extremes of cutting through southern Canada on eastward bound ventures. God forbid if I ever have to actually stay in Ohio for anything. Even their "Great" Lake is awful. Cleveland only squeezed by the Yankees when the filthy beast of a lake vomited up a scourge of gnats. Erie can't hold a candle to Lake Michigan, Superior, or Huron.

The impact of living in such an environment inevitably takes its toll, as one can see in the crass behavior of a Buckeye. This is best highlighted by the warnings UMich puts out to students prior to football games hosted in Columbus – don't drive down there if you have Michigan plates. Your tires get slashed. Or your windows broken. A good road trip to Columbus is one where you leave with only a healthy dousing of piss on the door handle.

Of course, Michigan fans' smug superiority – of character, of intellect, of football prowess – only exacerbates the situation. We're pretty sure every university in the nation is a "safety school" when it's compared to us. (Brethren: HAHAHA...wait, what? really? Michigan people really think this? In no way is that true! hahahaha.) There's the old joke - how many Wolverines does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer is 10 - one to screw it in, and nine to brag about how they did it better than Harvard. I might be ashamed of such arrogance, but it ain't bragging if it's true.

No grudging respect. No sportsmanship. Not in this rivalry.

Train Wreck Numero Dos – Well Mannered Southern Gal Encounters Her First Midwestern Shit Show: Hard to imagine even greater potential for disaster, but we have found it. First, take an impeccably mannered southern girl (Sisterin), who knows damn well what she likes - champagne, heels, pedicures, Ritz Carltons, etc. Not making the list - sneakers, hoodies, lake effect snow, keg beer, or any beer for that matter. Now add in a UVA education and an expectation of a southern-style tailgate: linens, tents, ties, pearls, vases and centerpieces, and ull-out food spreads (I have never seen such travesties in person, but I hear rumor that tailgate life is actually like this in places).(Brethren: Don't worry; we don't usually hire help at these tailgates, so your presence isn't required.)

Now imagine dropping her into the maw of Midwestern game day madness where, to put it most simply, things get retarded, they get retarded early, and they stay retarded. As host, it would be irresponsible of me to allow this fine young lady to arrive unprepared. Therefore, I offer the following crib sheet for tailgating in Ann Arbor on game day:

1) No parking lots, no fields: Tailgates happen at houses, stretching down the State Street corridor from South University to Hoover. Sure, they open up the golf course for parking, and people barbeque there, but it's for "old people" only.

2) Start early: Liquor stores open at 8am. The wise and seasoned vets already bought their breakfast pint of Jack Daniels after a dead sprint to the store at 1:59am the night prior. But if you forgot, you have three establishments to choose from – all side by side by side at the intersection of State and Packard. I recommend Campus Corner. Ask for Joe. Their kegs of Natty Light always have a crisper taste. And no, none of this gives you a pass for "taking it easy" the Friday night prior.

3) Bring $2: You won't find any food at these tailgates. However, $2 will buy you a delicious BTB Classic Burrito at Big Ten Burrito, conveniently located next to Campus Corner. Beans, rice, cheese, and salsa, it's the poor man's tasty staple. If you don't want to travel a block away, just scoot across the street to the hot dog vendor. Expect a free dog in exchange for a solo cup full of Natty.

4) Get Creative, Part One -- Drink Combinations: Many an infamous concoction has been birthed on the muddy lawns of State Street, none more widely admired than the MoMo (Mohawk vodka and Monster energy drink). Others include Blue Blue (UV Blue Vodka and blue Gatorade), MoCho (Mohawk 100 proof peppermint schnapps and chocolate syrup), and the Death Star (Five Star whiskey and RockStar energy drink -- hastily abandoned after a disastrous first showing, which we dare not retell on these pages). It should be noted that these beverages are not in fact mixed in the traditional sense, which would include cups. No, they are all consumed in "sessions" -- which involves standing around in a circle while the liquor, then chaser, are passed from person to person for straight pulls. Some academics have tied these "sessions" to the tribal need for community and human connection. Others propose that it's just a bunch of idiots begging for mono and a splitting headache. But I will leave that debate up to you.

5) Get Creative, Part Two - Drinking Activities: Sure, there are the usual staples such as beer pong, beirut, beer pongs, and corn hole. But have you ever experienced keg rolling (imagine log rolling -- with kegs. in an intersection. among moving traffic)? The Gargoyle (imagine a rail thin 6'11" individual perched on top of a keg while suckling straight from the tap)? Street Dancing? Cross-Avenue Keg Laps? I suspect not. Brace yourself.

6) Stay Engaged: One word - Sparks.

That's enough for now.

I'll be back to report on exactly how far this downward spiral took I said before, this cannot possibly end well.
The Jump

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't Nobody Haka Like Ginga'breds

Nacho: South Africa can make its own version. The University of Hawai'i can give it a shot.

But lets all agree, no one--but no one!!!--can Haka like Ginga'bred Men:

The original Haka mastas, after...

I present the All Blacks:

The Jump

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 10: Embarrassment

Nacho: If you're like me, you only get your news from one source. Yep, The Canadian Press. Which is why, when the Canadians mock us, it hurts doubly so.

I was going to say I place the blame for this season on the Defender of Fresh Biscuits, but our effing Coach is already doing that. Well....that's incredibly frustrating. Here I am writing up a hypothetical, and Foxy just goes and admits it. This is in no way maddening.

The argument of "Hey, I was trying to when a quarterback older than an Ent," is pretty weak, but it's one that everyone (except Steve Smith) seems to have bought into.

Aside from Smith's legitimate tantrums I see no heart in this team. If Peppers's personality doesn't jive with being an emotional leader, so be it. But, someone's gotta step up. At this point, I feel like our only hope is for Matt Moore to go Steamin' Willie Beamon on the league, which is looking less and less likely every week.

One last note: It's nice to see Dwayne Jarrett out there every once in a while, Foxy. We drafted him and we're using him about one-tenth as much as Beaston. Lets get some return on our investment, whattasay?

Patented, bulleted thoughts from Brethren, afer

Brethren: Yesterday's loss has put us Sports Brethren in a sour, rather apathetic mood. An embarrassing game all around; my patented bulleted thoughts:

- The I-85 rivalry game is pretty mind-numbingly bad these days. I didn't even get mad at MJD in the Smorgasboard when he called it a "classic shit vs. shit" game. It is what it is.

- Steve Smith, my plea to not ask to be traded continues. I know this might be a dire situation at 4-5, but with David Carr hurt and Vinny T hobblin' around, maybe someone (named Matt Moore) who can throw downfield will try to get you involved soon.

- Oh, and Steve, you might want to watch your back: that witty ole Tom Sorensen sure knows how to throw down and call you out. Sorensen, throw down.

- It will be over a full calendar year before the Cats win again at home. Awesome. Way to show the paying customers you care.

- The thing that angers me most about the otherwise not terrible defense on this 4-5 team: the outrageous excessive celebration. This D (mainly looking at you, Ken Lucas) cannot make one solid good play on defense without acting like complete jackasses. Memo: you're not good enough to celebrate like that. You aren't.

- You know what? We suck, but that don't mean I'm not excited about drankin beers with Nacho in Section 539 come December for the Dallas game. We like to keep it classy up there.

The Jump

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Soccer Is Ruining Basketball

Nacho: There's been an undercurrent in the NBA for a few seasons now. It becomes more apparent as people like Steve Nash and Manu Ginobili become household names. Namely, it's the scourge of the soccer player. Say what you will about the inherent flopping that comes with allowing soccer players into your sport, but that's the least of our troubles. I'm talking about the future of the sport, here. We simply cannot keep allowing people who enjoy soccer to continue, unabated, to exist amongst other, real athletes.

This sounds terribly negative towards a sport I don't even play, but I tend to take offense when shit like this happens:

Do you think for one second if Nash had done that to Zeke on the 89-90 Pistons that he would've lived to see another day? 10-to-1 odds Lambeer would've made sure he never danced again. Hell, he'd probably consider it "just practice" too. Dick.

Daggumit, soccer players get my dander up more than anyone. If Brethren's got any thoughts on this situation, they'll be after...

UPDATE: Brethren's seeing the play The Color Purple tonight and will be in far too serious a mode to discuss the relative merits or demerits of soccer's role in the future of basketball. Thank you for your time.

Brethren: (Friday morning, circa 10 AM EST) AH! ARRGH! FUCK! My close friends know I hate the fairy folks. But seriously, FUCK STEVE NASH. That was a downright rotten dirty play and I too blame soccer. Fuck that sport and all the douchebags that play it.

Of course, Stern will ignore this because hey, it's only the Bobcats, and because his white all-star/MVP is involved. Look, Steve, just because you got an dirty, unfair play against you in that Spurs series doesn't mean you can just do this shit. FUCK.

Listen up ya'll: I have a damning Steve Nash story we've been sitting on. Rest assured, once we follow up with our source and confirm, we'll be getting that shit out on the Interwebs.

I knew I hated Canucks.
The Jump

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Scenes From A Drastic Situation: The Abyss

Nacho: It's been a rough season for the Cats. No position has experienced more turmoil than that of the quarterback. For my money, if Delhomme can't go, I want and trust but one man under center: Vinny Testaverde. David Carr's a piece of shit with great hair, and I'm exponentially happier receiving this news than that of another Carr start.

This got me thinking about what kind of pop culture reference I could make that would be appropriate for this situation. After witnessing the "performance" of the Panthers in last week's game against the Titans, I decided to go with one of my favorite sequences in film history: the resuscitation scene in The Abyss. because, really, at this point it kinda feels like we're drowning ourselves, giving up hope, and we need Bud Brigman's tenacity to get us through it.

Enjoy, after...


As the water creeps higher and higher towards the ceiling Bud Brigman (played by Vinny Testaverde) fights to come up with a way to save both himself and Lindsey (as played by the Carolina Panthers). He makes a decision & starts pulling off his backpack, when the Panthers stop him.

PANTHERS: Listen... will you listen to me for a second!? You're for the suit on and you're a better quarterback than me. Right? So I got a plan...

VINNY: What's the plan?

PANTHERS: I drown, you tow me back to the locker room--


PANTHERS: Look, this water is only a couple degrees above freezing. I drown. I go into deep blood like icewater. I can maybe be revived after two, three weeks. You got all the stuff to do it in the clubhouse...

Vinny stares into the Panthers eyes as the life fades out. He grabs them, and pulls them behind him, up into the clubhouse....

Steve & Keary leap into the freezing water, waist deep on the submerged diving platform. Vinny bursts to the surface. Together they haul the Panthers across the platform, out of the water, and onto the deck. Their skin is blue-white, their chest still.

After repeatedly trying to shock the Panthers heart back to life with a defibrillator, John Fox puts his hand on Vinny's shoulder.

JOHN FOX: (gently) Vinny, it's over, man. It's over.

There is a beat of silence. Vinny stares down into the Panthers' half-open, motionless eyes. They are the eyes of an apathetic, David-Carr-watching fanbase.

TIGHT ON VINNY, rigid, staring. John Fox puts his hand gently on Vinny's shoulder. Suddenly Vinny tears Fox's hand away and sets upon the Panthers like a madman, renewing his efforts in spades... totally manic.

VINNY: No! NO! They're not... their heart is strong, they want to live...can't you see that? Come on, Cats. Come on, baby! Zap 'em again! Do it... DO IT!

They do. And Vinny works, feverishly. He lock his lips over hers and starts mouth-to-mouth. It is frantic, passionate... the kiss of life.

VINNY: Come on, breath! Goddamn it, you bitch, you never backed down from anything in life... now fight!

He slaps their face, hard. Their head lolls. He smacks them the other way.

VINNY: Fight, Goddamnit! FIGHT!!

TIGHT ON THE PANTHERS, still. Then something incredible happens. Something they will never forget as long as they live. The Panthers cough once, weakly, and their hands clench in a spasm.

Vinny sees it and his expression becomes beatific.

VINNY Come on, Cats. You can do it... fight your way back, baby...

The Panthers go on to win out the rest of the regular season, storm through the playoff, win the Super Bowl, and stop a gigantic wave from decimating the human race. The End.

Be advised, the below video is the last ten minutes, in their entirety, of the director's cut, which, in my humble opinion, is the only version of
The Abyss that ever needs to be seen by anyone. Ever.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The MLB Equivalent Game

Brethren: So while I do love my Major League Baseball, Nacho only really follows from afar. That, coupled with our Charlotte, NC, upbringing that didn't lend us a team we could both root for, pretty much remains the reason our blog rarely touches on MLB.

But it's not that we don't appreciate the good sport. In fact, we enjoy discussing it from time to time and now that the season's over, we feel it's an appropriate time for the Sports Brethren to weigh in. However, we are the first to admit that there are certainly people out there who know more than we do. So while we can easily knock out a draft using only Bobcats and Hornets players, knowing enough pro baseball players to make a game out of knowledge probably wouldn't cut it.

Luckily for us, I have friends who know baseball. So we invited my buddies, Duece and Gideon, to put their MLB knowledge to the test in a little game we're calling the "MLB Equivalent Game." Basically, we gave them a list of famous people, friends of the blog, and public figures, and asked them to give us those people's equivalent professional baseball player. Then, since Nacho needs to get involved here and loves to judge...well, really, anything, we're gonna let him decide who he thinks made the better pick after each selection.

Duece, stage right, versus Gideon, stage left

True to their personalities, Duece, in his argumentative and loquacious ways, provides paragraphs of material on every nuance of his decisions (I've edited some of it), and Gid, in his one-liner ways, gives the reader a short dash of reasoning. One final note: neither of the dudes knew about the other one's picks when choosing.

Tell us in the comments section who YOU think has the better MLB knowledge -- and any other connections you can think of.

The MLB Equivalent game, thru

Brethren (cont'd): Let the games begin.

First up, me, Brethren

Duece: There were many ways to start off here. Omar Vizquel was an option as an one of the best shortstops of all time who constantly annoys both with his play since he hits less then Mendoza as in the "Mendoza Line" and his unwanted opinion in many cases. David Eckstein seems to fit; scrappy, 5'9", the whole ugly-as-all-hell-in-execution-yet-gets-the-job-done-everytime mentality fits. However, he's quiet and humble. Clearly out of the question. I went with Craig Counsell here for a couple of reasons. He has quite possibly the most awkward yet "I can't look away" batting stance/posture next to only Fernando Tatis. He has the physique of a 14 year old anorexic turbo slut. But get this stat, he was on base for two gaming winning bottom of the ninth game 7 World Series victories. Not quite sure how that fits but you get the idea.

Gideon: David Eckstein - small, scrappy, scrawny...2ez (Gid: Duece, is Craig Counsell that outspoken? Doesn't make sense...)

Nacho: I'm going with Duece for two solid reasons: A) I'm a fan of alliteration, and 2) when I went to search for David Eckstein's picture of him guzzling tequila, I typed in Dennis Eckstein and got this. So +10 for Duece and -200 for Gideon. Not off to a good a start, Gid.

2nd up: Nacho

Duece: Kevin Millar - Wasn't really sure how to address this one. The size is about right. But what I focused on here was Millaaaaa's knack to talk....and never stop. What is he talking about? We never really know. Does it have relevance? Absolutely not.

Gideon: I have no idea what Smokey looks like, who he is, or where his random nicknames (Smokey, Nacho Friendly) come from. Travis Hafner's random nickname Pronk seems fitting to me (though based on the Cloud genes, can't imagine the physical features of the two are very similar).

Nacho: This one was much closer. I'll award +20 to Duece for his astute observations on my writing, and award Gideon +75 for reminding me to buy Kronk's New Groove. Man, I love me some Kronk.

Squeakity...squeakity squeak?

Duece: +30 Gideon: -125

3rd up: Mark Hamill

Duece: Kerry Wood - A franchise trilogy to start off a career. No not Star Wars. 4th Overall selection in the 1995 Draft. 20 K's, 0 walks, 1 hit, complete game shutout. 1998 Rookie of the Year (despite missing a full month). After that we got absolutely nothing from him but hope, and "wait until next year", and potential. Consider this: lists Mark Hamill as having 190 acting appearances. EXCUSE ME? Interesting Parallel: Kerry Wood has compiled 72 career victories and is in the top 200 all-time in K's. How/when did this actually happen. In addition, Hamill and Wood have now become pop-culture figures who try to reinvent themselves but in the end really just spoof themselves over and over again. Hamill on Family Guy as himself a recent part of this and Wood thinking he can be a closer because other people did it but just hurting himself...again. Insanely parallel careers right here.

Gideon: Tom Glavine. I see the Schilling thing, but also see a Tom Glavine resemblance.

Nacho: Well done both of you. Duece makes a damn fine point, but I'm a sucker for photo comparisons. +50 both of you.

Duece: +80 Gideon: -75

4th up: Stephen Hawking

Duece: J.D. Drew - To me this is pretty easy. While different in their execution, they are essentially the same person. Stephen Hawking is the world's smartest man...who can't walk, talk, or breath. J.D. Drew is the most physically gifted baseball player of all-time (next to Bo Jackson)...who can't run, catch, or hit. You tell me that this doesn't make sense.

Gideon: Jim Abbott - physically impaired - still a beast in his on the mound/with the mind.

Nacho: 1990s references will get you everywhere with me, boys. Since we're in America, I have to reward more points to the cripple so we can all feel better about ourselves. +25 Duece, +75 Gideon.

Duece: +105 Gideon: 0

5th up: Barack Obama

Duece: Obama had so much promise, pizazz, charisma, clout, seeming athleticism. 5 tools right there. Sounds like Curtis Granderson. First man to hit for 20 doubles, homers, triples, and steals in a season joining Frank Wildfire Schulte and Willie Mays as the only men to accomplish this feat (Jimmy Rollins joined the group days later). Buuuuuuut, really a more accurate career parallel might be to a shockingly honest and talented and exuberant young player who showed his emotions like a 14 year old anorexic turbo slut. Someone who burst onto the scene too early and was hurt by an overbearing workload that eventually broke him down. Who you may ask? None other than Jaret Wright.

Gideon: A-Rod. Clearly a young phenom, but has no chance of taking the next step. A-Rod can't do it in the playoffs, Obama cant do it in the presidential election. Plus, controversy over whether A-Rod was Dominican enough for the world baseball classic, whether he was American enough to play for the US...

Nacho: Facts and figures are nice, but words get boring without a peppering of expletives, so while Duece's may be right, there were too many words and he had to use the phrase "turbo slut" twice within five examples. +5 Duece, +20 Gideon.

Duece: +110 Gideon: +20

6th up: Trey Garza

Duece: This was a tough one, but I'm going with the ever apathetic, always prone for a meltdown, yet somehow miraculously gets the job done...every time: Joe Borowski. I think that sums it up in one sentence.

Gideon: Carlos Zambrano - husky bodies; sorta look alike - guaranteed to flip out once every few days.

Nacho: I only know who Carlos Zambrano is, but I just the feeling like I wanna get drunk with someone named Joe Borowski. +25 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece +150 Gideon: +30

7th up: Mike Myers

Duece: I could have gone with emotion-sink robotic sentinels Randy Johnson, Josh Beckett, or Mariano Rivera. But I'm going to go with Julio Franco here. Timeless. Ageless. Comeback after comeback after comeback. Seriously you can't kill this guy. He's 47. And that's what he says. So he's really 60? Come on.

Gideon: Todd Helton - uncanny resemblance.

Ed note: Suppose we should have been clearer in which "Mike Myers" we were referring to. Whoops. I liked each answer enough to keep it in here.

Nacho: I'm with the Editor, I like the confusion. Both are accurate comparisons for their respective folks, and I'll always a Julio Franco fan. +10 Duece, +50 Gideon.

Duece: +160 Gideon: +80

8th up: Jack Bauer

Duece: This is another place where I had a tough choice. I hate Jack Bauer. I hate 24. It is probably by far the most over-hyped, over-budgeted, overly-dramatic, overly-incomprehensible television show of all-time. Of all-time. I wanted to go with Armando Benitez, but he just isn't popular enough for this one. Even though I do hate him. I also thought of Borowski as well but he's underpaid and nobody outside of baseball has any idea who he is. So I'm going with somebody I really hate. Somebody who was an absolute mess of an "athlete". Somebody who always was in the public eye. Somebody who transcended baseball (at least in New York). Jack Bauer meet John Franco. A player who was loved by a city, was the #1 fan of the FDNY, was second on the all-time saves list (before Hoffman and Rivera blew past him), was over-paid, over-valued, over-rated, and just flat out old.

Gideon: Barry Zito - Very well known, huge following, but I am not sure how good either are? Is it really that hard to shoot a few terrorists and run around a whole lot? Is it really that hard to have a 4.53 ERA in the cavernous AT&T Park? At his salary? Neither really impress me.

Nacho: I'm really glad to hear both you dislike this show. The first season of 24 is damn near flawless, but there hasn't been a decent, hell, a mediocre plot, episode or character since George Mason went down with the nuke in Season 2. However, I like the Zito reference because the following of his disgrace is an all-baseball thing, not just a New York thig. +5 Duece, +50 Gideon

Duece: +165 Gideon: +130

9th up: Morgan Freeman

Duece: Another timeless and ageless figure. Except here we have one that is loved and revered by all. Can never do any wrong. Is more often than not the same character. Is slow and deliberate but is incredibly consistent. One of the greatest actors of our generation. Look no further than Tony Gwynn.

Gideon: Kenny Lofton. Long, distinguished career. Always making strong movies/playing for playoffs teams. Plus, if you turn back Morgan Freeman's clock about 30 years, they sorta look alike.

Nacho: I'm sorry, i can't in good conscious reward someone who think Lofton and Freeman look alike. Have you seen Gwynn and Morgan's bodies? Those look alike. +35 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece: +200 Gideon: +140

10th on the list: Lindsay Lohan

Duece: Started off as a child sensation. Soon got herself into the fast-paced world of fame and nose-candy. How could we be talking about anybody but Darryl Strawberry. Multiple trips to rehab. Multiple "clean" comebacks. Multiple downfalls. Does Strawberry's eventual house arrest and fall into nothingness foreshadow Lindsey's same descent? I'd like to think so. Stay tuned.

Gideon: Gary Sheffield (of the last few years) - always in the news; not really producing anything of any value. High controversy to production ratio - never good.

Nacho: Both strong entries, but Duece hits the nail on the head a little harder. +30 Duece, +20 Gideon.

Duece: +230 Gideon: +160

11th on the list: Bill Simmons

Duece: Outspoken; always has something to say; overly confident; thinks everything revolves around him and anything he is involved with. I initially went with the Red Sox angle and chose Curt Schilling. Irritating know-it-alls who actually know a lot and have personality and humor, even though you want to hate them both for being carpet baggers and just down right annoying. But Schilling was always good and started off as a top prospect. Simmons was an upstart blogger/superfan. So here's where I ended up: Kurt Warner. (Ed. Note: Rule breaker!) Yeah I know he's in the NFL. But think about it. He came out of absolutely nowhere (ok Arena Football) to lead the best offense in the history of football to a Super Bowl title and much success until getting pushed out. While he is a little more humble and seemingly likable than Simmons here are the issues: he has an undying religious faith that everything happened as God's will, his wife looks like the chick from Bravo's Work Out (i.e. not a chick), he has no reason to really be good at what he does, he now feels entitled to everything he has (including when he thought he should be starting for an awful Giants team over the future: Eli Manning). Seems pretty remarkably similar.

Gideon: Before I get into my response - have you ever heard his voice? The Most annoying, squeaky high-pitched voice of all time. I would have loved him to do some radio, but no one would be able to listen for more than 30 seconds....
Willie Mays - no joke. Willie revolutionized baseball with his combo of speed and power and finesse. Bill revolutionized sports writing with his completely biased, comedic writing that merges sports, life, and pop culture that has generated an unbelievable following and huge number of mimickers (read: Sports Brethren).

Nacho: I'm going with Gideon on this one, big time. His comparison to Willie is both legal, and better. You can't compare Simmons to Warner because Simmons hasn't (much like, say, A-Rod) won the big game, and probably never will. A-Rod's going to begin the downslope of his career; his best shot at winning a title was in New York, and since he couldn't get it done, he's going to spend the next decade plowing through every muscular surfer chude (chick-dude) from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Simmons definitely helped re-define the sports media landscape but joining ESPN was his Yankees tenure. During A-Rod's time at the Yankees teams like the White Sox and the Red Sox won championships; while Simmons was taking photos of thighs, Deadspin and Juiced Sports have exceeded his quality. Boom: -15 Duece, +75 Gideon.

Duece: +215 Gideon: +235

12th on the list: Pearl Jam

Duece: This is an interesting one. I was looking for a smash-mouth, likable, everyman with a long career. I immediately thought of centerfielders who slam into walls and hit homers. None of these people have had long careers or are too young to compare so far. Guys like Grady Sizemore and Torrii Hunter came to mind. Jimmy Edmonds is a possibility, but his offensive viability has fallen off faster than Peter Webb's dick after fucking No Regrets. So I'm going with Kirby Puckett. I hope this doesn't mean that there will be a catastrophic end to an incredibly influential Hall of Fame type career. Seriously it's hard to not like Pearl Jam. Interesting parallel: to really appreciate their greatness, you need to see both in person. Both are welded into my subconscious.

Gideon: Kenny Rogers - Never fully appreciated by the populas - never A-list superstars, but great body of work over a long career, grungy/grimey at times.

Nacho: Well put, Duece, well put. You get it man. Gideon, enjoy your Third Eye Blind records. +50 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece: +265 Gideon: +245

13th on the list: Oprah Winfrey

Duece: Simple. Great success in building an empire. Constant weight battles threatened that greatness. Primed for a huge downfall, despite the fact that she will continue to earn billions of dollars while literally not doing a thing. Mo Vaughn. Apologies to Cecil Fielder and Mike Sweetney.

Gideon: Barry Bonds - self-loving annoyances; not sure anyone likes either of them; both have ballooned in size as their careers went on, always in the news.

Nacho: I would have accepted Cecil Fielder just as well, but Vaughn's a great comparison. Bonds is equally as good a comparison, but he's got a voice higher than Simmons's. +30 Duece, +15 Gideon.

Duece: +290 Gideon: +260

14th on the list: Eyal Einik (stage left)

Duece: Zany, wacky, beat-to-my-own-drummer, walk-at-a-different-speed, unexplainable, foreign guy. Manny Ramirez. Obviously.

Gideon: Kevin Millar - A real clubhouse guy - not super talented, can't be relied on, but kept around for the jokes.

Nacho: I gotta give this one to Gideon because everybody knows Manny can't round the bases without taking off his helmet. This is clearly not a problem with Eyal. 0 to Duece, +20 for Gids.

Duece: 295 Gideon: +280

15th on the list: Katie Couric

Duece: This one stings a little. Somebody you love to hate and hate to love at the same time. She built herself with a different style into the host of NBC's Today show. Sought to be taken more seriously and gain political viability only to fail miserably. I can only choose a specific Yankee on this one: Johnny Damon. I hated his guts as a Red Sock but somehow I found myself liking him. He just had that thing. Then he got signed to a ridiculously asinine contract that even the Red Sox shied away from in order to cut his hair and be apart of a bigger social scene....only to fail miserably and pretty much become a bad DH.

Gideon: Johnny Damon - Not exactly sure why, but came to mind - also provides great chance to work in my favorite Johnny Damon joke: Johnny Damon - Looks like jesus, acts like judas, throws like mary - love it.

Ed. note: They both chose the same guy -- I think that makes it official. Katie Couric, you're the Johnny Damon of news television!

Nacho: Full disclosure: I in no, way, shape or form meant for this to happen but.....

Considering both gave the same answer, I had to go with SoA numbers (Strength of Answer): Duece +25.......Gideon.....+40 (fantastic joke, buddy.)

Final Score: Duece: +320 Gideon: +320


Duece: Stanley Kubrick and Wilt Chamberlain. Both completely dominated their field. But did so in a way that was way over everyone's head and incredibly ahead of their time. Both also died in 1999.

Gideon: Jon Basedow and Bronson Arroyo -

"He's John Basedow.
He's gonna show you how
To reach your potential
And turn your whole life around
Fitness made simple!"

I knew something bothered me bout Arroyo in his Red Sox days, and now I finally get to the bottom of it!

Nacho: Oh Duece, dear sweet Duece. You had it all, the world was your oyster. You knock it out of the park with a stellar movies/sports comparison but you neglected to recall this is for the MLB. So, while I admire the apt simile, tie goes to the runner: Gideon You are the winner of the First Annual MLB Equivalent Game. Congratulations, thank you all for being here, and enjoy your evening!.

Ed. Note: Jeebus that was long. Whew. I enjoyed every second of it though. Now go back to work.
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